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=With the Guys=

“So, is Isabella following you?” AJ asked Nick as he sat down.

“No.” He replied curtly. “Hey Howie.”

    AJ and Brian looked at each other confused.

“Hey Nick.” Howie replied. “What’s going on?”

“Nick seems torn between dating Emily or possibly dating Isabella.” Rochelle answered. Nick looked up at her. “What? It’s true.”

“Okay...what’s with the ‘following’ comment?” Leah asked.

    AJ and Brian looked at each other, then at Nick, and grinned.

“It seems Nick’s idea of coming here for a vacation was to actually follow her. He disappeared on me on Saturday and apparently sat outside of her aunt’s house at one point. She asked me what kind of cars we had and I told her. That’s when she tweeted that ‘stalker’ comment and it got him to leave. We made plans to more or less surprise her friends at the O.K. Corral yesterday.” He said and then paused as he looked at AJ. “Today was a totally different story. After Bone ran into her at the Botanical Gardens, and trust me, we didn’t plan that, the three of us <motioned to himself, Nick and AJ> had lunch at the mall. She also showed up. She went to the movies and after came here. So now, he thinks she’s following him.” Brian explained.

“You make it sound worse than it is.” Nick commented after Brian was finished.

“Did he?” AJ rhetorically asked. “Nick, it is bad. You’re dating Emily.” Nick just rolled his eyes. “And what makes it worse is your attitude. What about your girlfriend?”

    Howie changed the topic after Nick shrugged his shoulders. They enjoyed enjoyed the rest of their dinner in peace, up to a certain point.

=With the Others=

“Crap. We’re in trouble.” Rebecca said startling Isabella.

“Why? Is Brian, AJ or Howie coming over here now?”

“No, I made eye contact with the devil.” Rebecca answered. “Hi Rachael.”

“Hey guys! Bella, I’m surprised to see you out here.”

    Isabella didn’t want to, but she looked up at Rachael.

“Why? I have family and friends out here. You know that. You USED to be one of them.” Isabella quickly replied. “Speaking of friends, only my friends can call me ‘Bella’ and since we’re no longer friends, you don’t get that privilege.” She added causing Rebecca and Tim to smile.

“I’ll call you whatever I want to call you.”

“Fine, then instead of calling you Rachael, I’ll just call you ‘Bitch’ since that’s what you are...among other things.” Isabella replied. “So, Bitch, how the hell are you? How old is this boyfriend? I heard the last one was ten years younger than you. What’s the age difference now? Twenty?” Isabella added carefully not wanting to cause a scene.

    Rachael didn’t want to answer any of her questions, so she changed the topic.

“So, Rebecca, did you see who was eating dinner here?”

“Who?” Rebecca asked playing dumb. She already knew where this was going.

“The Backstreet Boys, well four of them. I’m surprised you haven’t harassed Nick yet.” Isabella, Tim and Rebecca grinned. “What?”

“Nothing.” Rebecca quickly answered. “I’m good. I’ve grown up a lot since a few years ago. I can’t say the same for you though.”

    Rachael just huffed away and decided to head to their table.

“Crap!” Isabella said as she pulled out her cell. She texted Brian.

“PL alert. Watch out!”

    When Brian’s phone went off, and after he looked over at Isabella, he pointed at the girl walking towards them for confirmation. Isabella nodded.

=At the Guys’ Table=

“Sorry to interrupt your dinner, but can I bother you for your autographs?”

“Sure.” Howie answered her, eventually.

“Who was the text from?” Nick asked Brian in a whisper.

“Isabella.” Brian answered and then showed the text to Nick.

“They pointed her out as I was at their table.” Nick quietly commented.

    Rachael made her way around the table and got all the guys autographs, and she even made small talk with AJ and Howie. Once she was gone, Brian got up and walked over to Isabella, Tim and Rebecca.

“Why’d you come over here?” Rebecca asked him after introducing him to her boyfriend.

“To make her jealous.” He said with a grin. “Actually, I wanted to ask Isabella if I could show Howie and AJ the poem you wrote about her.”

“Sure. I’m surprised you haven’t already.”

    Brian stayed a few minutes more and then headed back to his table. Before he left, Isabella remembered to give him the pictures she got copies of for them.

    Rebecca had to go back to work on Wednesday and Isabella had made plans to meet Michelle for brunch before she had to go to work. Isabella and Rebecca left her apartment at the same time. After her brunch with Michelle, Isabella was free to do whatever she wanted. Unfortunately for her, she had no idea what she wanted to do.

“To stay in Tucson for a few more hours or to head back up to Chandler. That is today’s question.”

    She knew, and was pretty much expecting, some kind of response from her “Peanut Gallery.”  She just wasn’t sure if she wanted to deal with them if they were still in the area.

    Isabella eventually opted to drive back to Chandler and get the long and boring drive over with. She let her family know that she’d be heading back. They told her where they would hide the key for her should they not be at home since they were about to leave the house for a while.

    Isabella started her Caliber, plugged her iPhone into the transmitter and drove off with the air conditioner on. She had enough gas to get back to Chandler, so she decided to get gas once she had the chance in Chandler.

    It was a pretty easy ride back and she spent the hour and a half singing to the radio while driving in the “travel” lane. As soon as she took the necessary exit, she pulled into the first gas station she came to on the right hand side and went to an open pump. She then headed inside to pre-pay with cash.  As soon as she got home, she found the key, brought her stuff inside and let out Gizmo from his pen. She grabbed her laptop and went outside to the back patio, with Gizmo following her. She decided to type her trip journal from the past few days while she had the time and remembered everything.

    After finishing up (or rather, catching up), she went inside followed by Gizmo and put her laptop away.  It was at this point that her cell phone rang and she answered it.


“Hey Isabella. Got a minute?”

“Oh, hi, Emily. Sure, why?”

“To get your opinion on my Nick situation.”

“Oh, okay.”